“Fake” Advice Letter Smears Trump


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At a press conference on May 31, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said that the American press is “dishonest” and “unfair.” As he spoke, on that same day, the Chicago Tribune’s nationally syndicated writer of the “Ask Amy” advice column, Amy Dickinson, published what is purported to be a letter to her that may well be a very good illustration of that gross unfairness and dishonesty in action.  My first inkling of it came at the breakfast table as I turned to the Style section of the establishment’s flagship newspaper, which, not coincidentally, is the flagship newspaper of the neocon anti-Trump forces, The Washington Post.  Across the top of Style’s front page is what one might call a “sneak peak” into what one can find inside.  The third of the four listed highlights reads as follows:

Ask Amy


Can a swastika-displaying

Donald Trump fan visit a

Hispanic family without a

train wreck ensuing?  C5


Turning to page C5 we find stretched entirely across the top of the page this headline to Amy’s column:

Is a Trump fan’s visit to a Hispanic family destined to become a train wreck?

For The Post, of course, such a letter is a godsend—or perhaps “spook-send” as we examine it—fitting in perfectly with its agenda, which happens to be on full display on its editorial pages that same day, as usual.  Editorial cartoonist Tom Toles, who has already gone past the late Herblock’s campaign against Senator Joe McCarthy, on May 31 almost outdoes himself in Trump vilification.  In his clever, two-paneled cartoon, in the first panel a “u” with two dots over it looks like a smiley face and two Republicans react by saying, “This part of Trump’s unity plan doesn’t look so bad.  In the second part, drawing back from the “u” we see that it is really a German u-umlaut in the word “FUHRER” gracing a podium atop which a preening Trump stands facing an audience.  “But there’s the rest of it,” is one of the Republicans’ reaction.

On the facing op-ed page, three of the four main columns are, quite typically these days, anti-Trump diatribes.  The first is by the younger version of George Will, former George W. Bush speechwriter, neocon Michael Gerson.  It is entitled “2016’s Most Depressing Moment,” and it begins this way:  

For those of us with a certain political bent and background, this is the most depressing moment of all. The best of the GOP — Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, the intellectually serious reformicons who have called attention to issues of poverty and the need for Republican outreach — are bending their knee to the worst nominee in their party’s history. Ryan drags himself slowly. Rubio eventually went with a quick Band-Aid pull. But the largest political choice each man has made this year will be one of the worst mistakes of their careers.

The second is by arch-Zionist, Israel-firster Richard Cohen, who—just  as Gerson pretends to be a conservative—pretends to be a liberal.  His column has the truly alarming title, “Trump Has Taught Me to Fear My Fellow Americans.” Again, as if the title were not enough, the opening paragraph captures the tone:

What word comes to mind when you see the name Donald Trump? For some people, it might be “anger,” since he provokes it and stokes it. For others, it might be “ignorance,” since he knows so little and, like many unburdened by knowledge, is untroubled by facts. Some might say “fear,” since it would take some scary police tactics to push 11 million people over the border to Mexico. For me, none of those words suffices. I would say “betrayal.”

The third is by The Post’s leading house black, Eugene Robinson, who also predictably plays a liberal like Cohen but who, also like Cohen and other Post “liberals” goes along with American wars of aggression in the Middle East and the curtailing of civil liberties at home in the name of “security.”  His column about Trump’s speech on the National Mall on Memorial Day is entitled “Trump’s Tragic, Rolling Bluster.”  It begins this way:

Donald Trump looked like a fool and a fraud on Sunday. But what else is new?

Even the most ardent Trumpistas would have to admit that Trump’s appearance at the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally was, as spectacles go, pretty pathetic. It was supposed to be a vast, multitudinous gathering on the plaza in front of the Lincoln Memorial, one of the greatest and most historic public spaces in the nation. Instead, Trump drew a paltry crowd estimated by organizers at perhaps 5,000.

Back in February, Patrick Buchanan summed up very well what we are witnessing here in this battle between the clear choice of America’s Republican voters and the national press, as exemplified by The Washington Post:

America is crossing into a new era. Trump seems to have caught the wave, while [Hillary] Clinton seems to belong to yesterday.  A note of caution: This establishment is not going quietly. (Emphasis added.)

But would they stoop so low as to make up a letter to an advice column that is designed to put Donald Trump in the worst possible light?  I would respond with a familiar question of my own, “Is the Pope Catholic?” but I’m not so sure that one works with this Pope.  How about, “Is ‘iconic’ an overused word in the press these days?”

The “Fake” Advice Letter

So let’s have a look at that letter to Amy, which I have taken from the Ithaca Journal to show its wide circulation:

Dear Amy: My grandparents have scheduled a visit. They live in another state. Normally I’d be really excited about this, but they’re bringing my cousin “Frank” with them. Frank has a swastika hanging in his bedroom (and let’s just say he doesn’t keep that because he’s a WWII re-enactor), and he’s a Trump supporter.

My mom is Hispanic, her whole family is Hispanic, her mother is a Mexican immigrant, and I am half-Hispanic. Knowing what I know about Frank, I’m not going to feel comfortable being within 10 feet of him while they’re visiting.

I’m not going to be able to keep my mouth shut about how uncomfortable I am around him. It’s going to be like a train wreck. I want to see my grandparents again, since I haven’t seen them for four years, but if they’re with Frank, that might be a deal breaker.

I want to tell my grandparents this, but I don’t want to feel like I’m being selfish and like I’m rejecting family. My dad already tried subtly suggesting to them that they shouldn’t bring him, but they didn’t seem to get the hint.

Do you really believe there is such a “Frank?” Certainly The Post and there cohorts in the press would want you to believe that a bigoted Adolf Hitler devotee is representative of all supporters of Donald Trump.  Fewer and fewer people are bothering to read their news and editorial pages, recognizing what’s there as the propaganda that it is, but at least, they hope, people still read the Style section, attracted by the celebrity fluff and the comics if nothing else. 

Isn’t everything in the letter just a little too pat?  Why would these grandparents be bringing a grandson along on this distant family visit?  How does the writer know about the Nazi flag hanging in his bedroom?  Do you know anyone or have you ever heard of anyone with such a display in his bedroom?  And how convenient is it for the agenda being pushed that this extraordinarily rare person should also happen to be a supporter of the press’s public enemy number one!  And how does the letter writer know that this cousin who lives in a distant state, and for whom she has no use, happens to be a Trump supporter?

The Precedent

Now perhaps you are among those who would be shocked, shocked that our Fourth Estate would engage in such a deceitful practice as to fabricate letters from readers for a calculated and nefarious purpose of their own.  But why wouldn’t they?  It’s very easy to get by with and it is effective.  Furthermore, we know it has been done before.  W.A. Swanberg, in his biography of the press powerhouse, Henry Luce, tells us that Luce used to do it all the time in his early Time magazine.  One can hardly find a more perfect exemplar of the American press than Luce.  Why would such an effective device not be common practice today?

In my series “Parade of Lies,” about the “Walter Scott” column in Parade Magazine, I give a number of examples of “readers’ questions” that look for all the world like fabricated set-ups.  Here’s an example from November 4, 2001, when the Bush administration was trying to gin up support for invading Iraq in response to 9/11:

      Q.  Before our war on terrorists began, how well did Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, the world's top terrorists, get along? -C. Barnes, San Antonio, Texas

A.  Not well at all, but they worked together on the principle that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Intelligence sources tell us Saddam encouraged attacks on U.S. targets because he harbors a deep resentment against George H. W. Bush, who created the coalition that defeated Iraq in the Gulf War. Our sources say Saddam figured the most effective way to punish the former President was to hurt his son, who now occupies the White House. It was a massive miscalculation. The recent outpouring of patriotic fervor pushed George W. Bush's popularity rating to more than 90%

And this one is from February 26, 1995, before the Monica Lewinsky scandal erupted:


    Q. How much truth is there to those stories coming out of Washington that Bill Clinton is still an incurable womanizer? -K. C., New York, N.Y.


A. If there were any hard evidence that the President of the U.S. was womanizing, you can be certain it would have appeared by now in the media. The days when the White House press corps respected a President's privacy and ignored his extracurricular activities-as with JFK-are long gone. Insiders say the salacious rumors about Bill Clinton often can be traced to Secret Service agents, who may be feuding with the First Lady. She reportedly suspects that some of the agents are snoops and tries to keep them at a distance. One agent recently spread a story that Mrs. Clinton had become so tired of her husband's wandering ways that she threatened to seek a divorce and run against him in 1996. No one believes that outlandish tale, but unfortunately it has made its way through the Washington gossip mill.


So, there probably is no “C. Barnes” in San Antonio or “K. C.” in New York City, I hear you say, but Amy Dickinson is not Edward Klein or whoever is writing the “Walter Scott” column these days, and she is not Henry Luce.  No, but there is good reason to suspect her of doing this sort of thing before, and, furthermore, there is precedent for secretly ghostwritten columns in the mainstream press.  One might well suspect, then, that in some instances, “Amy Dickinson” is not really Amy Dickinson.


Amy Has a Record


Concerning the first charge, let’s have a look at a supposed letter that Amy got back in 2013:

DEAR AMY: I recently discovered that my son, who is 17, is a homosexual. We are part of a church group and I fear that if people in that group find out they will make fun of me for having a gay child.

He won’t listen to reason, and he will not stop being gay. I feel as if he is doing this just to get back at me for forgetting his birthday for the past three years — I have a busy work schedule.

Please help him make the right choice in life by not being gay. He won’t listen to me, so maybe he will listen to you. -- Feeling Betrayed

Now there’s another godsend for the mainstream press agenda, in this case, actually, hitting two parts of its agenda at once, pro-homosexual and anti-Christian.  What kind of fool would write such a letter, particularly to a mainstream journalist?  Amy, of course, batted the softball out of the park:

You could teach your son an important lesson by changing your own sexuality to show him how easy it is. Try it for the next year or so: Stop being a heterosexual to demonstrate to your son that a person’s sexuality is a matter of choice — to be dictated by one’s parents, the parents’ church and social pressure.

I assume that my suggestion will evoke a reaction that your sexuality is at the core of who you are. The same is true for your son. He has a right to be accepted by his parents for being exactly who he is.

When you “forget” a child’s birthday, you are basically negating him as a person. It is as if you are saying that you have forgotten his presence in the world. How very sad for him.

Pressuring your son to change his sexuality is wrong. If you cannot learn to accept him as he is, it might be safest for him to live elsewhere.

A group that could help you and your family figure out how to navigate this is Pflag.org. This organization is founded for parents, families, friends and allies of LGBT people, and has helped countless families through this challenge. Please research and connect with a local chapter.

More Precedent

Knowing what we do, we also have to question whether Amy Dickinson, herself, had anything to do with either the inquiry or the response when such important agendas as attacking Donald Trump and Christianity and promoting proud displays of homosexuality are at issue.  Again, if she were just lending her name to the column in this case it would not be unprecedented.  Patricia Bosworth, in her memoir about her father, the leftist and very pro-Zionist activist Bartley Crum, tells us that Crum often wrote articles for the famous columnist, Drew Pearson, without his own name ever appearing.

Finally, I have my own experience with my associate who worked as a flack for the government of Puerto Rico in Washington, the late Scott Runkle.  He ran a public relations firm called Washington International Communications, and he regularly planted editorials in newspapers around the country that favored the Puerto Rican government’s position of the moment.  Once, he strongly implied to me that a column about Puerto Rico that went out under the name of New York Times columnist, Tom Wicker, was really his handiwork.  I was told on the day he died by a very reliable source what I had long suspected, that he was a CIA operative.  I describe that experience in detail in “CIA Plots Puerto Rico Statehood.”

Yes, America’s press is dishonest and unfair, but I suspect that Donald Trump still has a lot to learn about how dishonest and unfair and controlled America’s press really is.

David Martin

June 1, 2016





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